Day 12: Streams That Often Converge

She Just Wanted to Be Heard
Day 12: Streams That Often Converge
Part of Story Arc 1: Counterclockwise
A "The Ring/Ringu" Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)

Chapters: 12 of 100
Rating: Overall Rating Sup13+ (some elements might be too intense or scary for those under 13; includes bad language)
Dates: Begun September 2006. Some material is based on previously written stories from 2003-2005.
Word Count: 3,945
Summary: Samara and her sisters try to discourage the Winchester family from becoming involved in the ring by going after Sam.
Warning: Contains spoilers for the entire Ringu and The Ring series.
Beta Thanks: Beta'ed by Meredevachon.
Fanfic Challenges: Fits [info]50_darkfics Prompt #12 Bound and [info]Coclaim100 Prompt #12 Scream.
Author's Notes: Sam Winchester is a character from the TV show Supernatural. This part of the fic takes place pre-series.
Thanks to Rekka for her help with the Japanese.
I created the concept of Heptamera and his brides and daughters to combine the Japanese and American versions of this story. The idea is based on the fact that Sadako's real father was supposed to be a sea demon. (An idea that was apparently carried over to the American movies, judging by Sister Elizabeth's story about Evelyn.) Heptamera means "seven days" in Greek. I believe that the concept of Heptamera may contradict the Japanese manga, but I don't remember Sadako's demon father ever being named in the movies, on which this fanfic is based.


        Lisa held out her hand and said commandingly, "Hand it over, Danielle."

        Flinching a little, Danielle rolled her eyes and reached into her pocket. She produced the rosary and put it into Lisa's hand. "Why do you even want it? I was just going to throw it away."

        "Quinn is coming back at the end of the week. I'm going to give it to him then."

        "Quinn?"

        "That's his name."

        "Why is he coming back?" Danielle thought that was a pretty bad idea, after what had happened. "Did he think of something else to choke on?"

        Lisa, making an I am not amused face, explained it as little as possible. The less people heard about Quinn's nutty story, the better. "Just trust me, him coughing up that necklace has nothing to do with anything he ate. He's coming back... so we can share a good laugh."

        Danielle didn't get it, of course, but she thought maybe it was better that way. "Whatever. Only you would make friends with the guy who coughed up an object while eating here. Just don't give him anymore chicken wings."

        Lisa made that face again before turning her attention to the rosary. "You did clean the spit off this, didn't you?"

        "I wiped it a little with a napkin..."

        Holding the rosary by one bead, Lisa carried it at arm's length toward the kitchen with a small, "Ew."

*****

        Quinn and Gunnar were uncomfortably silent on the ride home, at first. Gunnar wasn't sure what to say. He flexed his fingers on the steering wheel and breathed in deeply, then just said what he was thinking. "That was a really weird story you told that waitress."

        Quinn didn't reply for so long that Gunnar thought maybe he hadn't heard him. He had opened his mouth to repeat his comment when Quinn said simply, "I know."

        "Do you really believe all that shit?"

        Quinn stared out the window at the rain hitting the street, the droplets rolling down the glass in streams that often converged. "I don't know, man. I haven't gotten a lot of sleep the last few days."

        "You believe it, don't you? You really think some dead girl is after you. Making you throw up stuff." Gunnar laughed lightly. He reached over and ruffled Quinn's curly hair.

        Quinn jumped in his seat. "God! Don't do that."

        "It's made you jumpy." Gunnar laughed again.

        His reaction made Quinn suddenly mad. "Didn't you hear anything I said in there, man? The fact that we're all experiencing this thing doesn't make any kind of impression on you?"

        "I dunno," Gunnar said with a shrug. "Maybe you all took the same acid."

        Quinn tried to think of something to say to wipe that cocky grin off his friend's face. "There's something real going on here, Gunnar. Just ask Jodie. She's the smart one, right? She thinks there's something to all this, just like I do."

        "Oh sure, that's why she asked me to take you out to get your mind off what you'd gotten into. Even Jodie thinks you're losing it."

        His hand to his brow, Quinn stared out the window, momentarily giving Gunnar the silent treatment.

        "Quinn, really, what's this all about? Did you guys party a little too hard and take something you really shouldn't have?" He paused and waited for Quinn to throw something in. "I know how Jolene can be sometimes. She was never the greatest mother figure. Right? Did she bring you guys something? Promise a great high?"

        "I wish it was that simple." Massaging his eyes with his thumb and first finger, Quinn added, "When we get back to my apartment, you can ask Jodie about what's been going on. She'll tell you how real it is."

        "What, did Jodie watch this 'videotape' too?"

        "Yes."

        "How long ago?" Gunnar asked.

        "Uhhh... less than twenty-four hours after I did," replied Quinn.

        "Okay, so what's she experienced so far?" Gunnar's eyebrows creased in growing confusion. "When she called me, she seemed fine. You're freaking out and Jodie's fine. Is that supposed to make sense?"

        Quinn gave it some serious thought. "Well... she... I asked her if she had any nightmares and she said no..."

        "Does Jodes have any welts on her arm?"

        Quinn considered that too. "No. Not yet."

        "Is she having hallucinations?"

        "Not that I know of."

        "The dead girl comes after you, Svet, Jolene... but not Jodie?" Gunnar hoped this would make the point that he was going for, and get Quinn to tell him what really happened.

        Instead, Quinn thought about it harder than he ever had, searching his memory for any sign, any sign at all, that Samara had touched Jodie. "You're right. The dead girl hasn't come after Jodie. Not at all."

        "So? What does that mean?"

        His fingertips to his lips, Quinn again fell silent long enough for Gunnar to think he wasn't going to answer. He didn't want to believe it. After how bad this had gotten - the intense nightmares, the physical effects, the fear - Quinn didn't want to fall back on his original conclusion. He finally said, "What does that mean?"

*****

        None of the people involved in Quinn Kirkland's crisis had met the real Dean Winchester yet. They had only dreamed of him, so they were unaware that he had a younger brother whom he loved probably more than his own life.

        Sammy.

        Sam was currently in Palo Alto, California, attending Stanford College and studying to be a lawyer. Practicing law was a far cry from hunting demons in many ways, but in others, it was exactly the same. But Sam didn't want to hunt anymore. He had never felt completely comfortable in his father and brother's world. There was more call for brute strength than book learning there. They needed someone to do research, look things up in magickal texts and the like, but there was no room for spending copious amounts of time flipping through art history books and reading classic novels. Those things were wastes of time to John Winchester. They were also some of Sam's favorite things to do.

        He had been a good son as long as he could stand it. He had learned how to shoot weapons and ward off evil spirits and everything else that went along with exacting his father's revenge against every evil thing that ever existed to make up for Mary Winchester's death. Sam was done with all that. He wanted his own life.

        Sam Winchester was done with hunting.

        If that meant he had to leave Dean behind too, then so be it. It was unavoidable.

        Left a hole in his gut, a burn in his heart, but unavoidable.

        What Sam did not realize at the time was that he couldn't leave it all behind. It would always find him.

        His roommate had left him alone in their dorm room to attend a party. Sam, now almost 21, had fallen asleep in front of the TV in his favorite beanbag chair, an Advanced Calculus book open on his lap. His long giraffe-like legs sprawled across the floor between the chair and the rickety TV stand. The room was dark except for the light coming from the television. It broadcast only snow. Static.

        But Sam had left the light on, hadn't he?

        Chhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Static had its own sound. Hissing. The sound of nothing. Sometimes, if you listened hard enough

        "sam"

        He stirred just a little in his sleep with a snort.

        "Sam"

        Sam grunted softly, then smacked his lips and lifted his head off the beanbag chair. He opened his eyes slightly, squinting at the TV.

        "Sammy. That's your name?"

        Sam just squinted at the static on the screen. He wiped some drool from the side of his mouth. "Yeah, I'm Sam," he replied sleepily.

        "What's your mommy's name?"

        He tried to sit up a little. Someone was talking to him, but he didn't know where the voice was coming from. "Who's talking to me?" Sam asked, peering around the dim room.

        "Is your mommy named Mary?"

        Sam looked right at the television. The voice was coming from the television. "Uhh... yeah. That was her name."

        "But she died."

        His brow furrowed suspiciously. "Yeah." He paused, trying to figure this one out. "Who's speaking?" The voice sounded like a child, a girl.

        "That's sad," the voice said quietly, regretfully. "My mommy's dead too. One of them, anyway." She stopped talking for a few moments, the sound of her voice melting into the hissing of the static. "You seem nice," the child finally said.

        "Thanks..." Sam pushed himself up a bit further, as far as a person could sit up in such a mushy chair. "What's your name?"

        "Samara," came the answer.

        When she didn't offer any more information, Sam asked, "Why are you talking to me through the TV?"

        Her voice drifted from the static once more. "Because you can hear me."

        Sam wanted to say, "Well, duh," but it didn't seem like the best idea. "I know that, but... is there something you want?"

        "Most people can't."

        It took him a second to understand what the child meant. "Most people can't hear you?"

        "No, they can't."

        "Oh." He was dreaming. He had to be dreaming. "Well, maybe you should try calling them on the phone instead of talking to them through televisions..."

        "I only call people when they've watched my tape."

        Sam blinked in confused silence. "What?"

        "That's what I've come to you about. You need to tell them not to come. They shouldn't... they shouldn't... it's such a big word..."

        Sam understood he was talking to a child. "Take your time," he said.

        "Tell them they shouldn't interfere," Samara instructed, saying the last word with pride at having said it correctly.

        "Who?"

        Samara paused. She then replied, "Your father and brother."

        This made him blink again in stunned confusion. Sam hadn't even talked to Dad or Dean for months. "Huh?"

        "Tell Dad and Dean not to interfere. They shouldn't get involved in this." Samara giggled. "They can't stop us."

        "What do you mean? What are you talking about?" Sam asked. Were his father and brother in danger?

        The child giggled again. "It's nice having a brother, isn't it? I never had a brother, but I've got sisters. So very many sisterssssss..." Samara's voice faded into the sound of the static.

        "Hey! Samara? What do you mean? What shouldn't they get involved in?"

        A new voice came from the television, one a little older and full of malice. "Tell your father and brother not to come to Boston. They can't stop the ring. No one can ever, ever stop it."

        Frustrated, Sam said, "I don't know what you mean. Is this a case they're involved in?"

        "Just do as I say!" An image flashed on the screen for a second, cutting through the static with a jarring crackling sound. It was a woman reflected in a mirror, a dark-haired woman, brushing her hair. "When we're finished talking, call them up and tell them not to go to Boston this weekend. They'll regret it."

        Sam had seen that woman in the mirror before. The entire image rang bells he couldn't even place at the moment. "I'm not doing anything until you tell me what this is all about."

        "Call your brother and tell him what's going on in Boston is none of his business. Your family has interfered enough already."

        "I'm not going to be threatened, especially not through a television by some faceless entity."

        "This cycle has been going on since long before you were born. You do not want to fuck with us, Sammy."

        Another image flashed on the screen, that of a teenage girl with short blonde hair riding a horse across a beach. It was gone as quickly as it came.

        "Oh, I see. Whatever you are, you're trying to get to my dad and brother through me. They're about to take you on. And you find them intimidating," Sam said with a satisfied grin. "They scare you."

        A long pause. Just the sound of the static. Then the screen jumped violently, crackling. Another voice came out of the hiss, a new one. "Shikata ga nai ne," that voice said with a sigh.

        Sam did not know what that meant, or how many different people were on the other end of this strange communication. He felt warm liquid running from one nostril, and put his finger to his nose. Blood.

        Sam felt himself being shaken by the shoulder. He came awake with a gasp.

        "Sam. Hey, Sam!" his roommate, Gerald, called. "Wake up!"

        Looking around, Sam saw that the light was still on. So it had been a dream, just a dream, after all. "Uh... oh, hey, Gerry. You back from the party?"

        "Yeah. It wasn't so great. Hardly any cute girls."

        The television was on, tuned to a channel that had gone off the air.

        Nothing but static.

        Sam's fingers went to his nose just as Gerald said, "You better take care of that. Your nose is bleeding." He handed Sam a tissue.

        Sam took it, put it to his nose, and leaned back to stop the flow of blood. Okay, that was strange. "I had a dream that I had a nosebleed."

        "Oh, yeah... that's like those dreams where you need to go to the bathroom, and you search frantically for a toilet, then you wake up and realize that you've really gotta take a piss," Gerald said while getting undressed and ready for bed.

        "I guess." Sam stared at the staticky television. "These girls were talking to me through the TV."

        Gerald laughed. "Was there snow on it, like the TV is now?"

        "Yeah."

        He laughed again. Once he had his pajamas on, Gerald walked over and put his hand on the TV screen. "They're here."

        "Huh? Oh..." Sam laughed too, just now seeing the similarities. "Like that movie, Poltergeist."

        "Yeah. Carolanne, talking to the 'TV people.' You remember what they said about channels not receiving a broadcast?" Leaning down, Gerald put his face very close to the screen, making a spooky face. "They can receive communications from the dead."

****

        Long after Gerald had fallen asleep, Sam was still staring at his phone, Dean's number already highlighted. They hadn't spoken in months, not even to say hi.

        "It was just a dream," he told himself. Didn't mean a thing.

        Except, it did. Sam knew he recognized those two images from somewhere. A woman brushing her hair in an off-center mirror. A girl riding a horse across a beach. The fact that he had seen those scenes somewhere before is what gave him pause. They had significance.

        "You probably just saw them in a movie and put them in your dream," a cynical voice said inside him. "Stop looking for an excuse to call Dean and just call him because you want to."

        Cynical Voice had a point there. Sam looked at the clock. Even Dean would be in bed by this time. He vowed to give him a call in the morning. Hopefully, that would satisfy the weird impulse in his head that caused him to have such an elaborate, strange dream just to tell him he missed his brother. Sam lay down and soon fell asleep.

        He could smell the sea. An archway open onto a balcony revealed the Mediterranean beyond. The sound of the waves lapping at the shore was so rhythmic that Sam thought he could listen to it all day.

        This was the kind of dream Sam could go for. At the time, he didn't know he was dreaming, so it made perfect sense that he could be lying in his bed in the dorm room he shared with Gerald and also in this room in Greece. He wasn't sure how he knew it was Greece; the Mediterranean touched so many other nations... something just told him. It also made no impression on Sam that half his room had blended into this other house. The walls changed halfway across, a subtle metamorphosis.

        A noise, like heavy canvas stirred by the wind, drew Sam's attention away from the balcony view. A very tall canvas, an artist's canvas, leaned on an easel that almost touched the floor. Sam estimated that it stood about eight feet tall and five feet wide. As he pivoted his body, sitting up slightly, he noticed that a woman was seated in a chair at one corner of his bed. It startled him.

        The woman was very beautiful. Her seductive face and ice blue eyes were framed with black hair so long it touched the small of her back. She wore white lace, down to a hood draped over her head. Staring at Sam, the woman said something to him in Greek.

        "Sit still. You are my model," she said. Sam didn't know how he could understand her, since he didn't speak a word of conversational Greek, not a single dialect. A voice in his head translated for him.

        "You... you want to paint me?" Sam asked.

        The woman put a finger to her lips. "Shhhhh." Apparently, that meant the same thing in Greek as it did in English.

        While Sam watched, she closed her eyes and lowered her head to her chest. The woman seemed to be concentrating on something. After a short time, she raised her head and opened her eyes. Her irises had gone milky white. All that was left were black, black pupils.

        "Are you alright?"

        Her head lolled back on her neck, and she made strange noises in the back of her throat. Moans. Choking sounds. Clickings. She writhed in the chair. The woman raised her head again, looking through him instead of at him, and he could see her pupils now swam with deep sea green light. Luminous, hypnotizing. Sam wondered if she was possessed.

        A sound coming from the canvas drew Sam's attention. Lines of fire sketched their way across its surface. They quickly extinguished, leaving behind a pattern in the burns. Sam was amazed when he realized that he could see the image of his own face, in profile, in the scorched pattern.

        "Is that... is that how you paint?" he asked the woman.

        Once the "portrait" was done, she blinked several times and shook her head. Her eyes cleared. Then she looked at Sam with some anger in her eyes and put her hands on the corner of his bed. In a matter of seconds, her long hair became soaked with water, though he saw no source, and crawled over her face like a willful thing. She climbed up onto his bed with him.

        "Wait!" Sam tried to roll off the bed, but she moved with supernatural speed, catching him off guard and straddling his body with her hands. "What are you doing? Get - " Sam gasped as the woman's hair, with a mind of its own, wrapped around his wrists and bound him to the bed. He started to scream. "Let me go!"

        The woman spoke to Sam in Greek, with the voice translating in his head again. "You didn't want to listen when the sisters tried to tell you. Maybe you'll listen to me. The ring has been in operation for more than two hundred years. It has changed with the times, but it still functions. It will not be stopped. My daughter must be avenged. All of his daughters must be avenged. You do not understand, but someday, you will. Tell your father and brother to stay away. They must not become involved. If they go any deeper into this, we will have no choice but to make all of you very, very sorry."

        Sam could hear whispering voices all around his bed. People crying out for help. Victims of a curse. Hundreds of them.

        "You have no idea the power Heptamera has. He doesn't claim anyone who keeps their end of the deal. All he wanted was to have a family. But they took that away from him. Took it all away! My little girl!"

        She leaned down, her face only inches from his. Sam could smell sea water and rotting flesh now. He whimpered loudly and struggled with his bonds. Some strands crackled and broke, but the hair held fast, and pulled itself tighter, sliding along his skin like a wet rope, like a live thing. This made him shudder.

        "You will not stop his curse on the world. Not you, not your father, not your brother! Tell them! Heed my warning! I am not Heptamera's only bride, but I was his first!"

        Sam came awake with a jerk that shook his entire little twin bed, on which he barely fit. He had to resist the urge to turn on the light. Even though the moonlight coming in through the window on Gerald's side of the room was faint, Sam could still see that his tiny dorm room was back to its normal size, with no archway and balcony extension. No smell of the sea. No canvas with his image burned into it. No woman sitting at the foot of his bed. None of it was real.

        Even so, Sam knew that Dad and Dean must be tracking something big. Big and bad. Whatever they had done, it had caused the beast to try to get at them through him.

        Whatever it was, they had royally pissed it off.

        But Sam Winchester did not hunt anymore. So he turned over on his side, cuddling his pillow in both hands, and tried to forget it. Tried to go back to sleep.

        Sam's eyes widened in the dark when he saw the strands of black hair shining in the moonlight, wrapped loosely around his wrists.


it won't stop

The Ringu series is (c) 1998 The Ring/The Spiral Production Group. It is based on the novels by Koji Suzuki.
The motion picture The Ring is (c) 2002 DreamWorks Pictures. The title "She Just Wanted to Be Heard" comes from a line of dialogue spoken by Rachel Keller in this movie. The motion picture The Ring Two is (c) 2005 DreamWorks Pictures.
I do not know if the prequel, The Ring 3, will have any bearing on this story or not until I see it.
Supernatural is (c) 2005 Kripke Enterprises, Wonderland, & Warner Brothers/The CW Television.
Everything else is (c) Demented Stuff.


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there really is a tape